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Gestational diabetes affects between 2 to 20% of the women during their pregnancy, depending upon various factors. It is a type of diabetes that occurs during pregnancy. However, unlike diabetes, it is a temporary phenomenon and normally a woman recovers from it after the childbirth. It is caused because the growing baby produces various hormones in the body which inhibits the insulin production and prevents it from helping the blood glucose in the blood stream to reach the cells and use it as a fuel for energy. This causes the blood sugar levels to rise, causing diabetes. Normally, if monitored closely and necessary precautions are taken, the mother fully recovers from it.

Who are at risk?

Normally gestational diabetes can happen in any pregnant woman but there are some factors which increase the likelihood of developing it-

  • If the woman is 35 years or older
  • If she is obese
  • Had gestational diabetes and gave birth to a child weighing more than 9 pounds during previous pregnancy
  • have pre-diabetes
  • suffering from Polycystic ovary syndrome or acanthosis nigricans
  • History of diabetes in close or immediate family members
  • belonging to a high-risk group for diabetes like Asian, Hispanic, American Indian, African, etc

What implications does it have on the mother and the baby?

Although it is a temporary phenomenon and the mother can fully recover from it, but if left undiagnosed and untreated, it can have serious implications on the health of both the mother and the baby. High blood glucose levels can cause the baby to become overweight and can weigh as much as 9 pounds at the time of birth. This can lead to severe delivery complications and require a C-section. In some extreme cases, it can also lead to stillbirth.

The mother too is at risk of developing gestational diabetes in the later pregnancies if left untreated and unmonitored.  Both the mother and baby are at increased risk of developing type-2 diabetes in the future.

What can a mother do to prevent or avoid it?

The good news is that gestational diabetes can be managed well if diagnosed early and followed proper precautions. You should visit your doctor early on and get yourself screened for it. Early intervention can go a long way in leading a healthy pregnancy. The following also helps in managing gestational diabetes-

  • By leading an active lifestyle- exercising regularly, sleeping well, managing stress
  • Following a healthy diet- if required ask your doctor to refer you to a dietician who can help you to eat healthily and manage weight gain. This will help immensely in keeping your blood glucose levels in check.
  • Monitoring blood sugar level at home.
  • Taking medication and insulin if prescribed by your doctor or physician

Do remember that gestational diabetes is one of the most common occurrences during pregnancy and can be well managed. So there is nothing to worry about. Getting yourself screened early and living a healthy lifestyle goes a long way to ensuring good health for you and your baby!

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About Maria Gorobets

Maria Gorobets is the visionary behind Baby Doppler. Maria founded Baby Doppler and is passionate about helping soon-to-be mothers and providing them with the tools to make pregnancy easier. Maria's goal is to make sure that all customers are happy and she strictly lives by that code. She loves to spend time with the family, travel and do extraordinary things in life!

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